I'm finally showing you guys... Here is my mom's $250.00 kitchen makeover! It was actually more like $200 but I'm sure there are some expenses in there we forgot so we'll say $250. Once again I couldn't find a good before picture so you'll just get to see my cute nephews again for the before shot. They are obviously dying Easter eggs in the picture...so forgive the mess and the semi crossed eyes.
The before. Notice the yellow oak cabinets, brass drawer pulls and stark white counters.
Ta da! Love it! It was hard to get a good straight on picture at this time of the day with all of those windows. I can't believe what a difference $250 and some elbow grease can make.
Here's a few more angles...
And some more (this picture was taken on a different day and won't enlarge for some reason)...
Nice huh? Wanna know how she did it?
First up were the cabinets. She hated the yellow oak that she had and wanted something dark which her kitchen certainly can handle with how much natural light there is. All of the main living area is entirely surrounded by stacks of windows. I love it!
She used a blackish/redish/brown mixture of oil based, gel stain on the cabinets. Sorry, I don't know what color specifically because she mixed them herself and doesn't have the original containers but any oil based gel stain should do. I think she got it perfect. She didn't want them to look painted she wanted to still be able to see the wood grain running through. Which she definitely achieved. Next she changed out all the hardware which that alone can cost more than $250.00 for a kitchen this size, but she hit the jack pot. The chunky drawer pulls were found at Lowe's for 50 cents each. They were originally an ugly brass color and she just spray painted over them with a hammered nickel color by Rustoleum and the round knobs were found on KSL classifieds for cheap. Another good place to look for inexpensive drawer pulls is ebay.
I'm sure you figured out that the countertops are faux granite. I didn't even know such a thing existed until my mom told me she was going to paint her countertops and I thought she was crazy! They look really good and they are a whole lot cheaper than the real thing. She said she had nothing to lose by painting the counter tops because that's how much she didn't like them before. You would be shocked by how easy and quick they were to do.
Here's a before of the countertop. Just plain white...
and the after...
$20.00 Granite....Faux Real people ( haha, I am so clever...just kidding ;0)
I helped for about 5 minutes on this project so I'll give you my observations of how to do it if you'd like.
What you need...
water based, tintable primer
acrylic paint in a variety of shades (I think she actually used 6 different colors)
a sea sponge
a cheap paintbrush (you know the kind that has like 10 bristles and comes in kids paint by number books)
Paint roller (the ones you find at the dollar store work great, the kind without all the fur)
Lightly sand the counter top. Wash and dry. Tape off the countertop. Roll on your tintable primer. This is your base coat. Let it dry.
Get your sea sponge wet and start dabbing into your first acrylic paint and start going at it....
There is no rhyme or reason...really. Just dab the sea sponge all over. I was nervous to mess up her counter and to prove that I couldn't mess it up my mom continued to paint when the power went out! Luckily, it was only out for a couple minutes. Every now and again she'd grab the cheap paint brush (the bristles were all bent and it was dry) and she'd dab some paint on with that, just to give it some straight edge looking blobs.
She didn't really let the paint dry much between coats. She would work from one end to the other and once she worked her way to one side, she would start on with another color immediately and repeated that with all the colors. After she did a layer of each color she would go back and add more of whatever color she wanted to emphasize. She then let it all dry and the last step was to apply lots and lots of Polyacrylic to protect it. You don't want to use Polyurethane because it will turn yellow. I think she applied like 10 coats of polyacrylic. I know that sounds like it would take forever, but it goes on very fast and drys really fast I don't think she spent more than a few hours combined on all the coutertops (not including drying time of course). Those cabinets however are another story. I went to visit for the weekend so we could paint her cabinets and get it all done in a weekend...that was a joke! Do you see how many cabinets there are? That was definitely not a weekend project unless you have a small army to help you.
You do need to let the paint cure. She didn't use the counters for a while. It has now been about 2 months and they have held up perfect! No chips or scratching. Not a bad transformation for the money? Next up she wants to find a new chair for the desk to redo. She's been on the hunt but hasn't found the perfect one yet. She also found a nice huge faucet she still needs to install and eventually she'd like a stainless steel fridge, anyone want to donate? Just kidding. I'll be linking to some of these places. Come back tomorrow and I'll show you a hutch she transformed as well!